Byron, MN (KROC AM News) -  A Rochester man is being credited with helping rescue a young girl and her father after the car they were in ended up in a river yesterday.

The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Department says 37-year-old Jian Zhong was driving through Oxbow Park around 10:30 yesterday morning when the Rochester man lost control while rounding a curve and the vehicle drove into the Zumbro River. The strong current began pushing the vehicle downstream and Zhong was not able to open the front door. He then got into the back seat to get his 3-year-old daughter out of her car seat and tried opening one of the rear doors.

About that time, 45-year-old Jeremy Severson and his mother were driving by and they spotted the car several feet from shore. When he saw someone in the car, Severson stopped his vehicle and waded into the cold, fast moving water to help Zhong. Severson says he was surprised to find the water was chest high and was up to the windows of the car by the time he reached it.

Severson carried the girl to shore and Zhong waded out behind him. Another passerby had already called 911.

Zhong and his daughter were checked out at the scene but did not need medical care.

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